SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) – When you return to the water this summer, you’re worried meat-eating bacteriathe expert gives some advice.
“Meat-eating bacteria are an infection that spreads so fast that the skin and surrounding soft tissues begin to die,” said Dr. Stacy Rose, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
“It’s still a rare disease, but it can be quite serious, especially for people with weakened immune systems,” Rose explained in a college news release.
The most common cause of flesh uptake (“necrotizing fasciitis”) is group A streptococci, a common type of bacteria that also causes sore throat. Strep produces toxins that destroy the skin.
Staphylococcal infection is another cause of meat-consuming diseases and a less common cause Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria that lives in warm seawater, both on the Gulf Coast.
Most people who come in contact with Vibrio they have no problems, but some are at increased risk of complications if they have it. For example, people with weakened immune systems who enter water bodies with minor cuts / wounds can get a serious infection.
Rose offered the following safety tips:
- Avoid water bodies if you have an open wound.
- Wash your hands with soap after any summer activities.
- If you get a minor cut or injury, clean it immediately with soap and water.
- Keep your skin healthy. Skin problems such as eczema or athlete’s foot can cause skin damage, which increases the risk of bacterial infections.
- If you have a disease with a weakened immune system, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes, be more careful when you enter a body of water, especially if you have an open wound.
- Take a shower after any water activities.
- Chlorinated water is probably cleaner than non-chlorinated water, but not without risk.
If you have redness or irritation on the skin that becomes warm, changes color and spreads or forms very quickly pustulessee a doctor immediately, Rose advised.
In addition to antibiotics, the treatment of meat-absorbing disease involves very rapid excision of dead tissue to prevent the spread of infection. The sooner this is done, the fewer tissue surgeons will have to be removed in the long run.
Read more about the disease of eating flesh US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: Baylor Medical College, news release, May 5, 2022